We got an early start to the day, which would be a long one on one road, highway 90, the whole way. Ten miles in we came across another group of tourers. There were three guys roughly the same age doing a trip from Little Rock to somewhere in Florida. They were doing the trip for one of the member's 60th birthday; impressive. They gave us a map of Kansas, useful in a few weeks, and we were on our way.
We made our first stop in McDonalds another 30 miles late in Biloxi, MS. Hooray, another state. After spending 2 weeks in Florida we'd be in and out of 4 states in 24 hours. We filled our bottles with powerade this time, and set out for Bay St. Louis, MS.
We hit some bad construction that we dealt with on 90 for about 10 miles and eventually wised up and took a parallel road. Much better. In Bay St. Louis we got grinders, or Po-boys, as they're called down here. We were making good enough time to make it in to New Orleans, and as luck would have it, we were able to stay at a friend's place from Uconn, who was doing non-profit work in education.
Another 15 miles or so would get us to a last necessary stop into some strong winds. A bait shop about 25 miles out from our destination would allow us to fill up once more and make a final push to New Orleans. We were pretty tired and relaxed a bit while filling up with some powerade and Snickers (definitely my favorite candy).
As we made our journey into New Orleans parish (Louisiana's name for counties), we hit our first mechanical failure. Paul busted a flat. The road was littered with debris and it was only a matter of time, but it could have been worse, it could have been me! Good thing we had picked up the extra tire in Tallahassee. As this was our first flat, it took a bit to fix it, and it looked like we wouldn't make it before dark. About 13 miles to destination we were only able to ride another 4 miles or so before it was too dark and we stopped at a gas station. We called Allison, the friend we were staying with, and she was able to have her roommate pick us up. Nice.
We zoomed into the city tired from a long day, and weren't up for much. Hungry, we polished off most of the reserves we had and went to sleep. We had an air conditioner, and some chairs, more than enough to fall asleep in on our longest day yet.
Life was good.